Pausing In-Person Instruction
The University of Scranton is implementing the following important safety measures to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on campus. These additional measures are intended to provide us with the best opportunity to finish the semester in Scranton.
Given the current number of students in quarantine and isolation, the two-week period of remote instruction, as Father Pilarz announced, offers students and faculty consistency on the method of instruction without further disruption. View Father Pilarz's video message to campus here.
More importantly, limiting the movement of students on campus further decreases possible transmission of the virus. Additionally, students now in isolation and quarantine will be able to return to campus with their peers when in-person instruction resumes without concerns of the virus spreading further.
The campus remains open during this pause with the changes outlined below.
- Consistent with advice from national health experts, students staying on campus and in the Hill Section should remain in Scranton. Should you decide to return home, please be aware that you may need to quarantine when you return to campus.
- Beginning today, September 11, students will need to further restrict their movements on- and off-campus.
- Students living in University residence halls must remain on campus, except for when absolutely necessary.
- We will also prohibit visitation in all student residences, meaning that only students who live in a particular room, quad, or apartment may be present in the residence. Please do not visit a residence hall where you do not live.
- Additionally, all public gathering spaces and lounges in residences halls will be closed.
- All student programming activities will be virtual until the end of September.
- Family Weekend, which was originally planned for September 25-27, is postponed until the spring semester.
- Students living off campus or at home must remain off campus, unless they have an in-person class, scheduled appointment, work study or participate in a University meal plan.
- Off-campus students must restrict interactions only to those living in your apartment or house.
- We encourage all students to spend time outdoors, observing all safety guidelines and keeping any groups to no more than 10 people while adhering to 6' social distancing and wearing a mask.
- Food Service will continue on campus in The DeNaples Center and other areas. Please see the Dining Services website for more information.
- Several campus facilities will be closed during this two-week pause, including the fitness center and indoor recreation spaces. Outdoors recreation spaces such as Fitzpatrick Field, the Volleyball Court, and Tennis Courts, will remain open.
- Student Life offices and services, including Student Health Services and the Counseling Center, will remain open.
- We will continue to make individual zoom rooms available for student use on campus.
- The weekly Sunday evening campus Mass will be streamed live beginning this weekend and continuing through the pause. The Tuesday and Thursday noon Masses are cancelled during this period.
- Classes will meet in person today, and Monday and Tuesday (September 14-15).
- On Wednesday, September 16, in-person classes will shift to remote education.
- We will return to in-person classes (or mode of teaching established at the beginning of the semester) on Wednesday, September 30.
- Select laboratory courses will be permitted to continue meeting in person at the direction of the appropriate dean, in consultation with the department chair. Only courses with (L) designation will be considered.
- Access for individual research laboratory work can continue. We ask faculty and students to follow the current Royals Safe Together procedures for labs.
- Faculty will continue to have access to individual offices and may continue to teach remotely from your scheduled classroom if you prefer.
- The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) and Information Technology (IT) staff are available to help with transitions to remote learning.
- We encourage including as much interactive (Zoom) classwork as possible as students have expressed their appreciation for this interaction when learning remotely. The Provost’s office will send additional information to faculty for successful remote learning.
- You can contact the CTLE by email at email@example.com.
- Exams administered through online platforms must comply with the time extensions for each individual student’s accommodation needs.
- Click here for steps on how to configure Special Access in D2L.
- Students with accommodations through the CTLE can continue to take their tests in the CTLE during this period.
- IT support is available by phone at 570-941-4357 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can enter a ticket in Royal IT Support via the My Scranton portal.
- The library will hold limited hours with both building and staffing.
- The new hours are Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday Noon to 7 p.m.
- Access is by swipe only to members of the University community (no public patrons).
- The circulation desk will remain open, but access to some areas/services will be limited. No after-hours swipe access will be allowed.
- University offices will remain open. During this period, supervisors may assess staffing and make adjustments for remote work as they deem appropriate.
- Work study students should continue to report to work remotely or in offices as directed by your supervisors.
- Admissions tours and other scheduled appointments on campus can continue during the pause.
- Over the next two weeks, employees will continue to be tested as planned.
- Student testing will shift from random to a more targeted approach to assist better in our response.
- As always, you will be notified to schedule any testing appointment by email.
All members of the University community must abide by the steps outlined here as well as all provisions in the Royals Safe Together plan.
Q. Are students who choose return home during the two-week pause required to notify the University and/or produce test results?
Yes, all students who return home during the pause are required to update their Remote Contact Information through the portal and to be tested within five days prior to their return to campus. Students who decide to leave campus during the Remote Period must update their contact information using the Remote Contact Information link under the Student Tab in the my.scranton.edu portal. Negative test results must be uploaded to the student health record using instructions found on the Student Health Services website.
Q. A negative test must be reported within five days of returning to campus. Is that five days from when the test is administered or five days from the result?
Students must be tested within five days prior to returning to campus and restrict their movement at home while awaiting test results. Hopefully, students will also receive their results within this timeframe. If there is delay in receiving results, students must not return to campus until they have uploaded their results to their student health record. Students requiring assistance in communicating with faculty about any delay may contact the Dean of Students Office at (570)941-7680.
Q. Are students required to provide a negative test result if they previously tested positive through on campus testing?
No, as COVID-19 can be detected in the body for up to 90 days after a person initially tests positive and well after their contagious period, students who have tested positive do not need to provide a negative test result. If a prior positive test occurred on campus, the University already has this information in the student health record.
Q. If I receive a positive test result while away from campus, what should I do?
Consistent with the Royals Safe Together Plan, students who test positive for COVID-19 while away from campus must contact Student Health Services at (570)941-7667 for guidance on isolation to prevent the spread of the virus on campus. Students will be asked to upload their positive test result into their student health record.
Q. The University is shifting to targeted test for students. What does that mean?
Starting the week of Sept. 14, the University shifted from random to targeted testing. The targeting testing approach allows us to adjust testing of students who are close to areas that we have observed a larger number of cases. That might mean targeting certain activities, residence halls, majors, or class years.
Q. Do off-campus students who go home need to produce a negative test before returning to their off-campus residence?
While a negative test is not required prior to returning to their off-campus residence, it is required prior to returning to campus. All students who return home during the pause are required to update their Remote Contact Information through the portal and to be tested within five days prior to their return to campus. Students who leave their on-campus or off-campus residence during the Remote Period must update their contact information using the Remote Contact Information link under the Student Tab in the my.scranton.edu portal. Negative test results must be uploaded to the student health record using instructions found on the Student Health Services website.
Q. If a student is completing their quarantine at home and there are fewer than 5 days left, do they still need to be tested and obtain results before coming back to campus?
Yes, students who are presently at home are required to update their Remote Contact Information through the portal and to be tested within five days prior to their return to campus. In the case of students who are quarantining at home, they should complete their quarantine and get tested at home to confirm a negative result prior to returning to campus. Negative test results must be uploaded to the student health record using instructions found on the Student Health Services website.
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